Tuesday 6 December 2016

Leinster open to idea of Johnny Sexton taking time out to recover

Rugby

Published 29/11/2016 | 02:30

Leinster's Jonathan Sexton. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Leinster's Jonathan Sexton. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Leinster are open to the idea of Johnny Sexton taking a period out of the game to fully recover from his injury problems, but the province are adamant that unless the medical staff advise them otherwise, the out-half could play against Northampton in two weeks' time.

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Sexton was forced off in Ireland's defeat to New Zealand a fortnight ago with a different hamstring problem to the one that has plagued him in the early part of the season.

He subsequently missed Saturday's win over Australia, after which Joe Schmidt revealed that discussions would take place around the possibility of Sexton taking a prolonged spell out to recuperate.

Leinster's backs coach Girvan Dempsey maintained that a decision would be made in the player's best interest, but that all going well, Sexton would return to training next week with a view to being available for the first of two crucial back-to-back European clashes.

"I'd imagine discussions will take place, potentially between Leo (Cullen) and Joe about the best course of action," Dempsey said.

"From my perspective that is a smart thing to do. No matter what player is under our care, we want to make sure he receives the best medical care, the best player welfare.

"We're hopeful that he could be back available, depending on how the rehab goes this week and early into next week, that he could be available for selection for Northampton. That's our target.

"Depending on him meeting the criteria and ticking the boxes of his return-to-play stuff for next week, we're hopeful that he will be back on the field and, potentially, in line for selection for Northampton."

Robbie Henshaw (concussion) returned to training yesterday with the rest of the province's international contingent due back on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Leinster target Israel Dagg has reportedly held talks with Toulon, with Toulouse and Bordeaux also interested in signing the All Black winger.

Irish Independent

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